Cat Wellness Care
Who's avoiding our cat wellness exams, me or my cat?
One veterinary practice reported that just one cat is seen by a veterinarian for every five dogs, despite many studies reporting that there are nearly eight million more pet cats than dogs in the U.S. Many cat owners believe that their felines are inherently healthier than dogs and that cats simply don’t need as much veterinary care as their canine counterparts.
While that may seem to be the case, in reality, cats are just better at hiding their symptoms of illness and disease, making it nearly impossible for even the most observant pet owner to recognize signs of potential problems. Routine wellness exams can uncover illnesses before they become life-threatening—and expensive. When you also consider that cats age faster than humans, that adds another dimension to the importance of regular checkups.
Then there's the two-fold anxiety of you and your cat trying to get through the exam. (Not to mention the "cat carrier caper" and the car ride to the exam!) We know cats sometimes need special treatment to help them stay comfortable and free from anxiety at the vet because the smell and attention of dogs can create an atmosphere of fear. Our devotion to pets moves us to accommodate cats in a special way that aims for a fear-free practice. We call it “Cater to Cats,” and we designed it to help felines feel at ease when they visit their doctor. Read more about it on our Cater to Cats page.
Please talk to the doctor about your cat’s personal preferences so we can make his or her experience a more pleasurable one. Also, ask about ways you can help in this regard. For example, ask for tips on how to get your cat into a carrier, through the office visit, and back home again.
How do regular wellness exams benefit me and my cat?
- They provide a voice for pets, who cannot explain how they feel
- They allow us to measure changes in health against an earlier baseline
- They enable us to detect and treat issues before they become irreversible
- They help maintain a friendship with the vet, which can help ease anxiety
- They give peace of mind—to know your cat is healthy and happy
Since cats can’t (and won’t) tell you when they feel sick, they may have already been sick for a long time before you notice any symptoms. By that time, poor quality of health could be a permanent aspect of their life. That’s why we feel it’s so important to see your cat twice per year. We can provide a voice for your feline companion concerning his or her health needs.
Your cat’s life expectancy can lengthen if we treat health issues as they arise, rather than assuming your cat will “bounce back.” But the only way we can detect bad health conditions early is if we see them regularly. The longer we wait, the more serious and difficult the conditions become. In addition, regular exams provide a baseline and comparative measures of deviation from what is normal for your cat.
Even though cats may be more self-sufficient than dogs, they are just as susceptible to dental disease, heart conditions, obesity, and other health problems.
What happens during a cat wellness exam?
- A review of your concerns and your cat’s health records
- A discussion about any changes in your cat’s behavior and general appearance
- A physical examination
- A dental examination
- Recommendations for further testing and treatment
If necessary, we will also screen your cat’s blood, urine, and stool for infections, parasites, and other conditions. If any condition is found, we will work with you to develop a treatment plan.
As you may agree, important steps needed to maintain your cat’s health are outside the scope of what families can perform at home. Northeast Animal Hospital wants to help fill the need for compassionate members who provide advanced healthcare to your feline friends.